Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao suffered a shock defeat against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173 this past weekend and many of those watching were surprised at how comfortably the challenger was able to deal with the Brazilian who had look unstoppable until this bout with 33 wins in 34 fights.
Assessing his performance in the cold light of day, Barao says the problem was that he dropped by a punch from Dillashaw early in the first round and wasn’t able to recover fully from it.
“Right in the beginning I took a huge shot, and went into auto pilot for the rest of the fight,” Barao told Globo. “At some point I didn’t know where I was. I was asking Dedé if I won or lost the round, which round was that. So that was it, I was rocked from that first shot that landed. All credit to Dillashaw, it was his day and he did well, and that’s it. I’ll train hard and come back strong to get back what’s mine.”
That does make sense and it would explain why Barao appeared to be having an ‘off’ night. Whether he would have fared any better if that hadn’t happened given how inspired a performance Dillashaw produced is certainly open to question and perhaps the only way to know for sure would be to have them rematch at some stage in the future.
In fact, Barao’s camp have already been calling for an immediate rematch in Brazil, while UFC president Dana White appeared open to the idea backstage after the fight.
“I’d want to see this rematch,” White told repoerters. “Hell yeah, I’d want to see it. I want to see which Barao shows up for the next fight. I think that’s a great fight.”
Not everyone’s so enthusiastic about it though since the first encounter was so one-sided. At this moment in time there’s a growing interest in seeing Dillashaw take on another rematch instead against Rafael Assuncao who is the last man to have beaten the new champion.
That came by a controversial split decision ruling back in October of last year and Assuncao is now ranked No.3 in the division and sporting a six-fight winning streak, so it’s a bout that makes a lot of sense.
There’s a big difference between what makes sense and what makes dollars and cents for the UFC though, so we’ll have to wait and see what they decide to do.